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Telangana: Akbaruddin Owaisi rejects govt circular making singing of Vande Mataram mandatory in schools, government backtracks

Muslim leaders said that singing Vande Mataram during daily assembly is unconstitutional and against the Supreme Court’s 2017 judgment which clearly states that Vande Mataram cannot be given status on par with the national anthem

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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On Friday, controversial AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi met Telangana education minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy over the Vande Mataram row and demanded that the recent circular making it mandatory for the students to sing Vande Mataram in schools be cancelled.

According to the reports, Akbaruddin Owaisi, an MLA from Chandrayangutta met Telangana Education minister to discuss regarding the recent directive issued by the Hyderabad District Education Officer making singing of National song Vande Mataram mandatory in schools.

On October 31, DEO B Venkata Narasamma had held a meeting of deputy education officers and deputy inspectors of schools in which it was decided that ‘prayers should be conducted in a systematic manner’.

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In the meeting, it was decided that prayers like Vande Mataram, Jayajayahe Telangana should also be sung along with students taking a pledge in their daily prayers. Apart from that news reading, Sukhti and GK questions were also added to the prayer list.

Following this directive, there was confusion among the teaching fraternity, particularly those working in the old city, where Muslim population is much higher.

“The National Anthem is already sung in schools, where is the need to chant Vande Mataram,” Owaisi had questioned.

Reportedly, the Muslims residing in these areas had opposed the move by saying that reciting Vande Mataram was against the beliefs of Muslims. It is the basic tenet of Islam that nobody and nothing else is entitled to be worshipped except Allah, a parent had said.

“We respect and love our country, but it does not mean that we have to worship it. Students should not be forced to recite Vande Mataram,” Mohammed Kashif, whose ward is studying in Asifnagar government school had said. He hoped the government will intervene and issue instructions to the education department not to insist on the song during the assembly.

Read: Vande Mataram – the history of Muslim opposition and support

Abdullah Faiz, Secretary of the Students Islamic Organisation, had said that the DEO’s orders to sing Vande Mataram during daily assembly is unconstitutional and against the Supreme Court’s 2017 judgment which clearly states that Vande Mataram cannot be given status on par with the national anthem as there is no provision in the constitution regarding a national song.

Following opposition from Muslim groups including AIMIM, the Telangana government has now stated that singing Vande Mataram in schools will not be made mandatory. T Vijaya Kumar, Commissioner of school education, confirmed that Vande Mataram will not be made mandatory and a circular regarding the same was not issued.

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